‘After Apple Picking’ is basically a pastoral poem, appearing first in the collection of poems titles ‘North of Boston’. The poem presents the simple and uncomplicated life of a farmer who has worked very hard the entire day picking up apples. Frost dramatizes nature by giving it an essence and meaning of its own. It is a benefactor because it gives life and sustenance to man. The farmer speaks of the self satisfaction which he gets in his work that is solely dependent upon Nature.
Frost recreates in a beautiful way the soothing bounty of Nature-the warmth of the sun, the air filled with the scent of apples while the ladder sticks through a tree as the farmer goes on picking apples and dropping them carefully into the empty barrels. His long day of hard-work is slowly drawing to an end, and it is not surprising that he is feeling very tired. The apples symbolize the ripeness and richness of nature and also the never ending love which a farmer has for his work.
‘After Apple-Picking’ is a unique poem because it is a subtle combination of realism and symbolism. ‘Toward Heaven’; pointing toward the sky. ‘Done with apple-picking now’; tired of apple picking for the time being. ‘Essence of Winter sleep’; the air is full of intoxicating scent of apples. ‘Skimmed’; collected. ‘Spiked with stubble’; pierced by stubble. Frost fills his poems with a sharp and clear pictorial quality thus, ‘After Apple Picking’ is one of his best known poems for its masterful combination of rhythm, love and language.